West Sussex youth offending service praised

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THE West Sussex youth offending service has been given a pat on the back by government inspectors.

It was awarded an ‘encouraging’ rating, and said to be performing as well as the rest of the country – only two years after it was put into special measures.

The service is a partnership involving county council children’s services, Sussex Police, NHS West Sussex and the national offender management service.

Three key areas of its work were examined by the inspector of prisons and probation, and in each case only moderate improvement was said to be needed: protecting the young person, action to protect the public and action to prevent reoffending.

The report also highlighted the fact 94 per cent of victims surveyed as part of the inspection said their needs had been taken into account.

Part of the inspection included representatives of the Care Quality Commission, which praised the service’s health practices.

The report said: “Overall, we consider this an encouraging set of findings. Although practice was variable across West Sussex, we found some good practice in all the teams whose work we inspected.

“The challenge now is to ensure that this good practice is built upon and disseminated within the youth offending service as a whole.”